Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Every Tuesday, I'll be posting the opening paragraph (maybe two) of a book I decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week's selection is The Marriage Plot; Jeffrey Eugenides - loved Middlesex and Virgin Suicides by this author.

A Madman in Love

" To start with, look at all the books. There were her Edith Wharton novels, arranged not by title but date of publication; there was the complete Modern Library set of Henry James, a gift from her father on her twenty-first birthday; there were the dog-eared paperbacks assigned in her college courses, a lot of Dickens, a smidgen of Trollope, along with good helpings of Austen, George Eliot, and the redoubtable Bronte sisters.  There were a whole lot of black-and-white New Directions paperbacks, mostly poetry by people like H.D. or Denise Levertov.  There were the Colette novels she read on the sly.  There was the first edition Couples, belonging to her mother, which Madeleine had surreptitiously dipped into back in sixth grade and which she was using now to provide textual support in her English honors thesis on the marriage plot. There was, in short, this mid-size but still portable library representing pretty much everything Madeleine had read in college, a collection of texts, seemingly chosen at random, whose focus slowly narrowed, like a personality test, a sophisticated one you couldn't trick by anticipating the implications of its questions and finally got so lost in that your only recourse was to answer the simple truth. And then you waited for the result, hoping for 'Artistic,' or 'Passionate,' thinking you could live with 'Sensitive,' secretly fearing 'Narcissistic' and 'Domestic,' but finally being presented with an outcome that cut both ways and made you feel different depending on the day, the hour, or the guy you happened to be dating: 'Incurably Romantic.' "

What do you think of this first paragraph? 
(I thought it was rambling, but in a good way, if that makes any sense.)


  1. It was a bit wordy but I could so envision her bookshelf!!!

    I played along today:http://lifeinthethumb.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-chapterfirst-paragraph-tuesday.html

  2. "Rambling but in a good way" is a great description. Yes, I would want to read more of this one!

  3. I have wanted to get a sneak peek into this book for some time now, so reading this snippet was really wonderful! I would read this book based on that paragraph!

  4. I like the meandering flow of this. I'll put it on my list.
    Here's Mine

  5. Hmmm...think I need more coffee. Had to read it twice. LOL

    But, yes, I'm interested in this book. I loved MIDDLESEX and so must at least try this one.

  6. Very descriptive! I could definitely get a good picture of the bookshelf.

  7. I disliked Eugenides' book Middlesex very much, although the idea behind this one does catch my interest.

    I've finished The Days of Abandonment on Sunday after reading your introduction last Tuesday. I'm ready to post on it, and I thank you for making that author known to me.

  8. I think this paragraph sounds great Diane! Enjoy!

    Amy's First Chapter...

  9. I got lost in that paragraph, I will have to decide if I find my way out!

  10. Surprisingly, since it is about books, it left me cold.

  11. Everyone seems to really enjoy this one and after seeing the description in this paragraph that includes an Edith Wharton reference? I love it and now I want to read it :)

  12. I have always had a hard time getting into this author. Not sure it is for me.

    My contribution this week:

  13. It was about books so it grabbed my attention!
    Here's My Intro

  14. I thought it was a bit wordy but because it involved books it drew me in.

  15. I finished this one over the weekend. I was captivated from the beginning! Hope you enjoy this one...

  16. I like that kind of wordy, rambling writing.

    I played today too. http://wp.me/pmP4i-3nK

  17. Looking forward to your thoughts. I am on the fence on whether or not I will be reading the book.

    My TI/TT.

  18. I totally understand "rambling in a good way" and it makes me want to read more.

    Here's my teaser tuesday:

  19. I loved it! Don't we all do that - hope our book collection says something we want people to think about us, and dread it giving some people the 'wrong' impression? (Not sure what mine says about me - answers on a postcard please :))

    So yes, this one would definitely tempt me, Diane.

    And here's mine:


  20. Sounds like the way my library used to be once upon a time.

    Do lottery winners’ lives always end in tragedy? See : my Tuesday teaser

  21. Well that paragraph does make me want to keep reading but I'm nit sure about this book yet. I'm curious what your final thoughts on it will be.

  22. Diane, I was in a rush this morning on my way out to the ciry for a doctor appt. so I didn't have a chance to say much about the opening paragraph of The Marriage Plot. I love it, the names of the authors and/or the books Madeleine has read and some tidbit about it. And referring to it as a sort of personality test is brilliant...and what he says about waiting for the outcome of the personality test is so true...if this opening is evidence of what the rest of the book is like I'll be buying it asap!

  23. Just got the book today, came home, opened my e-mail, and your post was there!!! I am literally beside myself and putting everything on hold until I finish this book!!

  24. I too loved Middlesex....or maybe it was the chocolate martinis my bookclub had while discussing Middlesex...hah! great book though - I've wanted to pick this one up in a bookstore and see if I would enjoy it as much too - thank you for the teaser!

    I played this week too!

  25. Staci..that is what grabbed me - imaging her book shelves. (Thanks for joining in).

    Kay...that is what I thought as well. Her library sounds fantastic.

    Heather...Didn't mean to entice you into buying another book...LOL

    Paulita...totally agree (thanks for joining in)

    Kay...I loved Middlesex as well, but for some readers it was a love/hate situation.

    Yvvone...that is what got me too.

    Bellezza...Sorry you were not in the LOVED Middlesex camp like me. I am glad you read Days of Abandonment - hope to get my review done by the weekend --work gets in the way:(

    Mystica and Brian....it's wordy, but worth it it seems.

    Amy...I loved your thoughts on that open --it does draw you in I thought. (Thanks for joining in Amy)

    Barbara and Nancy...sorry this left you cold, and does not appeal to you:( not for everyone I guess.

    Natalie, Beth and Vicki...hope you get a chance to read this since you were grabbed by the opener.

    Carol...thanks for joining in and glad this seemed to grab you.

    Carrie...glad to hear you loved this one:)

    Nise and Dar...maybe after reading some reviews you will give it a try.

    HeyIwanttoreadthat....thank you for joining in and glad you liked my rambling intro.

    Tracy...glad this intro grabbed you. Thanks for joining in.

    Harvee...thanks for joining in.

    BookQuoter...glad u couldn't resist either --enjoy

    Stacy....Middlesex was great IMO, but adding choc martinis to the discussion would make me fall in love with it for sure if I was on the fence...LOL

  26. Sounds pretty good, here's mine: http://headstuckinabook.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-chapter-first-paragraph-post.html

  27. Based on this opening, I can tell I won't be able to read this book while sleepy!

  28. I just finished this one and it's a bit rambling, but I agree, in a good way.

  29. I love it, but really need to read Middlesex first. That one has been on my shelf for years!

  30. Rambling, but in a good way -- agreed! I'm so curious!

  31. Oh yeah I would read on! I loved the bookshelves decription!


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